Three years ago a private mining survey crew, working under a contract for the Corporation, found a cavity inside an asteroid in the asteroid belt. The cavity was found in initial density scans because of its unusually symmetrical shape surrounded by a layer of high-density silicates. The scan data was sent to the contractor, and the Corporation immediately claimed over the mining operations. Radio contact with the mining vessel was lost soon after the data was received.
For unknown reasons, the contracted mining crew decided to initiate excavations, before the Corporation vessel arrived. The mining crew bore a tunnel through the asteroid, reaching the cavity in a matter of days. According to the biometrics and sensor recordings salvaged from the remains of the mining ship and the crew’s skinsuits, the crew had built a temporary airlock inside the asteroid and breached the cavity just hours before the Corporation vessel arrived on site.
It was immediately obvious that something was wrong and a hazard control unit consisting of four military-grade hybrids and a synthetic was sent to secure the area. The site was secured and contained, but with heavy casualties. The operation was successful thanks to the support of the ship’s AI and the synthetic crew member, who seemed to be immune to the psychogenic effects of the organism, later designated as Echidna, found inside the asteroid. –
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